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9th Gen Corolla/1st Gen Matrix (2003-2008) 9th generation Corolla and 1st generation Matrix discussion.

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Old 03-03-2008, 06:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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To change or not to change? catalytic converter

I have a 2003 Toyota Matrix XR with 89K miles on it. Yesterday, the "check engine" light came up and I took it to a mechanic who diagnosed it with code P0420 - Catalyst system. I was told to change the catalytic converter, which would cost me $1600. So I'm thinking, my car isn't worth that much, why change it and why not trade it in instead? Wanted to know what you would in my position, whether there will be any other expected problems after I change the catalyst system, are there places that you know that may be cheaper? I don't know...any information would help. Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2008, 12:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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First, get a second opinion.
get a hold of an OBD scanner and see for yourself what codes are being shown. places like Advance Auto do it for free.
then you may be in for an oxygen sensor or something a lot cheaper than a $1600 bill.
HTH
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My 03 Matrix had 160000 miles and check engine light was on with code P0420. I changed air filter, spark plugs, clean MAF, throttle body and idle air control motor. So far, engine light does not on and no code was stored in the ECU.
If you want to change the catalytic converter then check GM Vibe (cost $450.00 to 500.00) or on E-bay (from $288 to 368).
Good luck
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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skip the cat entirely, and go without one. just run fuel cleaner about once a month. you should notice an increase in power, and your exhaust will smell different. your gas mileage will probably go down a little as well.
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Old 03-05-2008, 08:20 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Even with a P0420 code set on my XRS it passes the annual emission test by a very wide margin. My belief is that it is a software bug. It sets once every 2 months to once every week. No pattern. I just read it and then reset with by OBDII reader which I keep in the car. Not a problem and nothing to worry about. My mpg continues to be high. Save your $$$$ you do not have a problem.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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well, i just thought i would add to this again. i got a CEL on the way home from work today, about 35 miles away from the dealership where i got my XRS about a year ago. i took it in and they checked it. they didnt tell me the exact code, but they did say it was a catalytic problem at first. when they got a second, they took my car in and looked into it more. about 30 minutes later, they came out and told me the catalytic converter is going bad, and that is why i got the CEL. they looked at the mileage, and told me that i was just inside the original factory warranty (79,777 miles). i got my car used, and also got the extended warranty. they told me they would have a new cat in for me tuesday or wednesday, and it will all be covered by them.
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Smar969905 I think that you will find it is a $1,100 part. Way to go!!!
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Old 03-09-2008, 01:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edbso View Post
Smar969905 I think that you will find it is a $1,100 part. Way to go!!!

luckily for me, it is a free part. the dealership is covering everything for it.
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Old 03-11-2008, 10:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I too have had my cat in my 03 XRS replaced, 79,000 miles so the dealer had no choice but to eat the cost and replace the cat, luckly for me i am smarter then the dealer and read the books cover to cover so i was able to fight them back when they tryed to hose me for a 1600.00 cat. if code cataliyst efficancy below threshold is thrown you know your cat is bad, if you wanna save some big bucks on it i suggest buying it in an online parts store (usually a 1/3 the cost)
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